International Institute for Religious Freedom

Muslim-Christian relations book is published in honor of IIRF Founder


Book cover “God Needs No Defense”

In April of 2020, leaders of the World Evangelical Alliance and Nahdlatul Ulama — including Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, Dr. Christine Schirrmacher, Dr. Thomas K. Johnson, Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf and C. Holland Taylor — established the Humanitarian Islam/WEA Joint Working Group. The Book “God Needs No Defense” is a product of the Joint Working Group’s Subcommittee on Jurisprudence, Human Rights and Ethics. Two of the authors of the volume share with us the aims of this publication.

“Oceans of blood have been spilled by the millions of people who have attempted to defend their understanding of God with the force of arms. As just one example considers the 1,400 years of conflict between Muslims and Christians, from the great Battle of Jarmuk in 636 AD until the current wars in the Western Sahel. Or else consider the suffering caused in many countries by anti-blasphemy, anti-conversion, and anti-proselytism laws. Would it not be much better if we replaced the force of arms with the power of the pen to represent our understanding of God?

In this volume, Muslim and Christian authors have joined forces to claim that the power of the pen must replace the force of arms. “Societies can flourish, and religious communities can grow, if we jointly say that God Needs No Defense with the force of arms, while we peacefully articulate how we understand and relate to God.” – Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Johnson.

“Many of the conflicts around the world related to religious freedom involve Muslims and Christians. Followers of these religious traditions constitute over half of the world’s population. It is important, then, to see the types of publications put forward by the world’s largest Evangelical and the world’s largest Muslim organization. The book God Needs No Defense offers insights from scholars and religious leaders in different religious communities that contribute to religious freedom discussions.” – Prof. Dr. Kyle Wisdom.

You can download the book here: